Road Transport Operations The Netherlands
Much of the Netherlands (Holland) is categorised as ‘lowland’, with 20% of its land below sea level, and 50% is less than one metre above sea level. The Netherlands is easily accessible by sea and has four major seaports, the Port of Amsterdam, Port of Rotterdam, Zeeland Seaports and Groningen. Rotterdam is one of the world’s busiest ports to this day.
Truck and lorry drivers should have and carry:
- their full passport
- their national driving licence
- written consent from the owner of the HGV that they can drive the vehicle.
- a GB sticker or Euro number plate.
- Headlamp converters – your operator will hopefully have attended to this.
- A warning triangle
- Vehicle registration documents.
The Netherlands does not have a system of toll roads unlike most other European countries, but they do have a ‘Euro vignette’ scheme where commercial Lorries carrying freight from other countries must pay a fee according to the length of time the vehicle is in the country.
These can be purchased at https://www.eurovignettes.eu/portal/booking/booking or at fuel card outlets or certain cash and credit card machines located at various petrol stations.
Road Toll Tariffs - https://www.eurovignettes.eu/portal/en/tariffs/tariffs?reset=true
Speed Limits and Road Offences
The Netherlands has some of the highest traffic fines in Europe. Speed limits vary across the country, so it is advisable to keep a check on signs. However, it is fairly standard that lorries are restricted to 30km/h in residential areas, 50km/h in built-up areas and 80km/h on open roads and motorways, although in some areas this can be as low as 70km/h.
Fines in the Netherlands are levied on the spot and must be paid in cash. Some examples of fines include:
- Not wearing a seatbelt (including HGV drivers and drivers mates)
- Driving at 60km/h in a 50km/h zone – €46
- 81 – 83km/h in a 50km/h – up to €316
- Not being in possession of an insurance certificate – €288
- Failing to keep tachograph records – €4,400
- If caught breaking the speed limit by more than 50km/h, a licence is confiscated on the spot.
Vehicle Restrictions in the Netherlands
Vehicles in the Netherlands are restricted to a maximum height of 4 metres, and a width of 2.55 metres (or 2.6 metres for refrigerated units). Rigid lorries are restricted to 12 metres in length, and articulated lorries, 16.5 metres, although road trains can be 18.75 metres.
Cabotage is permitted. UK operators may carry loads to, from or through the country. Loads carried between other EU member states is permissible where a community authorisation is carried. However, other countries may only allow this under a bilateral agreement.
2 axles: 21.5t 3 axles: 33t
2 axles: 20t 3 axles: 30t
3 axles: 31.5t 4 axles: 41.5t
(The same limit applies to road trains for 4 and 5/6 axles.)
The Netherlands is the only EU country where the 50-tonne limit is permissible – anything outside of this requires permission from:
2700 AT Zoetermeer
Tel: 0031 79 345 8309/8314
As is common in Europe, 112 is the emergency number for contacting the emergency services in the Netherlands, including police, fire and ambulance.
The Netherlands is a party to ADR. It is essential that fully completed ADR documentation is prepared for the movement of dangerous goods. There are restrictions on the movement of certain types of dangerous goods under certain weather conditions most notably when roads are wet, icy and/or if visibility is restricted.
For further information, visit the UNECE website at the link below & select the country name applicable - http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/adr/country-info_e.html
Abnormal loads normally have to be moved outside of rush hour periods, restrictions usually apply at weekends and under certain weather conditions.
Vehicles that exceed the maximum weight and dimensions below will require special authorisation, which can be obtained from RDW Centrum Voor Voertuigtechniek en Informatie, Europaweg 205, 2711 ER Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)79 3458100.
There are driving restrictions imposed upon abnormal load vehicles where they cannot be moved as follows:
- Weekdays from 06:00 to 10:00 and 15:00 to 19:00
- Weekends from 09:00 Saturday to midnight Sunday
- Cannot drive on slippery roads (ice/snow) and if visibility is restricted to less than 200 metres
All abnormal load operators will require a keeper’s certificate to prove ownership of the trailer which must be carried as part of the vehicle documents at all times.
An application form can be downloaded below:
TIR Carnets are accepted for vehicles crossing The Netherlands. ATA Carnets are accepted for certain temporary imports. CMR notes are advised.
There are no driving restrictions at weekends or on public holidays.
There are overtaking bans on many national routes for vehicles 7.5 tonnes and over.
Bridge and Tunnel Tolls
There is the Westerschelde Tunnel, which connects the towns and cities of Eastern Holland to the cities Antwerp, Ghent and Lille in Belgium. The Tunnel is situated in the south of the country on the N62 between Goes and Terneuzen.
Rates affecting heavy vans and rigid vehicles is Category 3 (18.20 Euros) with articulated lorries Category 4 (25.00 Euros). Payment can be made by fuel card or credit card for ad-hoc use. If, however, you are likely to use the tunnel regularly, it will pay to get a t-tag (an electronic device like a dart tag), which reduces the cost substantially.
Vehicle Legal Documentation
- Green Card required, plus original vehicle registration docs.
- A GB plate must be fitted to the rear of the vehicle/trailer.
- A trailer Registration Certificate is a requirement. To register for a trailer certificate go to https://www.gov.uk/register-trailer-to-take-abroad
Driver Legal Documents
- Full passport required but no visa required.
- UK Licence is accepted.
- Letter from employer giving driver permission to drive vehicle (attestation letter and form).
If the UK fully leaves the EU on 31 January 2021, HGV drivers will require travel insurance with healthcare cover
Lorries are restricted to 30km/h in residential areas, 50km/h in built-up areas and 80km/h on open roads and motorways, although in some areas this can be reduced to 70km/h.
Low Emission Zones
There are numerous towns in Holland which are designated low emission zones and drivers must be able to provide proof of the vehicle emissions rating. Low emission zones are indicated as ‘milieu zone’ – for further information, please visit the link below:
There is a complete lorry ban in Rotterdam s-Gravendijkwal unless the truck is all-electric.
The following links provide guidance and further information, please use the links below.